There are little films which compare to the riveting, intense, amusing, and avant garde aspects that make up Dog Day Afternoon. The critically and audience acclaimed bank heist flick boasts a top notch cast and kick-ass screenplay, both of which help the film tell a story which leaves the viewer engrossed, and by the fantastically disturbing ending, speechless.
Released in 1975, the movie stars one of the more quintessential actors to have graced the big screen in Al Pacino, which landed him yet another Academy Award nod for his undeniably effortless performance and further established himself as a tour de force, who at the time was coming off three previous nominations. It was directed by the remarkable Sidney Lumet and costars John Cazale as Pacino’s gun-toting accomplice, who previously worked together in a little known film called The Godfather.
From the onset of the film, the motivated and relaxed Sonny, played by Pacino, and his crazed and visibly emotionally unstable wingman are portrayed as your typical villains strapped for cash who would rather rob a monetary branch rather than try their luck with the lotto. Yet the beauty of the film is that by the climax, you cannot help yourself from rooting for the bad guys/underdogs to succeed in their crusade to acquire enough finances to fund Sonny’s transsexual wife’s sex-change operation. It is a terrific and gripping film, and its tension-easing sequences of humor ( as seen here Wyoming scene) relieve the film of an all out serious tone.
Dog Day Afternoon warrants multiple viewings and has been established as a iconic piece of cinema in The New Hollywood Era as well as American culture in general. The picture is based on the Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank” (link right over hurr —>) Boys in the Bank
Kluge, P.F., Moore, Thomas. “The Boys in the Bank.” Google Books.
http://books.google.com/books?id=5VYEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA66&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=1#v=twopage&q&f=false (22 Feb 2011).